The House by Sebastiana Randone

House cover

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The House is an adult fairy tale rich in mystery and intrigue.
Here is a tale of a woman so absorbed with historical novels that her own reality ceases to offer any hope of romance and beauty.

Until one day this dreamy idealist finds herself in a mysterious forest. How she arrived there is unknown. Soon she encounters a dilapidated house, within whose ancient walls magical rooms that transport to parallel worlds lie in wait. There she is transmigrated to 18th century England, where our heroine interacts with an odd mix of characters whose dysfunctional lives become immediately apparent.

Her first tribulation involves a nefarious lord, an archetype of the monstrous characters one encounters in fairy tales. The ramification from this confrontation sets the tone for the narrative.
A magic portal finally enables escape from the austere Georgian dwelling. She is then spirited back to the enigmatic house and a journey to Regency London follows, where a large cast of eccentric identities present themselves.

Late one night, following a long stay in Florence, a young, heart-broken poet arrives. His introduction to the beautiful time traveller offers promise of restoration and love. But there are several more obstacles ahead before her destiny in this curious adventure is made apparent.

In the end an unexpected twist is revealed. But like all good fairy tales, this surprising conclusion is pleasing, even though the means of getting there are dark, and at times sinister.

Publisher and Release date: Xlibris Corporation, March 2013

RHL Classifications:
Time and Setting:18th Century/Regency England
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Heat Rating: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Julie Whiteley

Scura sees a man in the wood and thinks it is her imagination. She takes a walk in that direction anyway and come upon a house. Curious, she goes inside. This house, although run down has an appeal to her due to her fascination with history. Soon, she is overwhelmed by fatigue and falls into a deep sleep.

Upon waking, she finds herself transported back in time to 18th century England. Scura would have fit in during this time she so loved, except she falls victim to an angry, drunk libertine.

Wishing to find an escape, Scura does manage to find a portal, but instead of returning to her own time, she finds herself in Regency London. Her stay here is much more enjoyable, but she makes many shocking discoveries. Not only that, but the arrival of a young man (David), who has lost the love of his life, means that Scura’s fate gradually becomes clear.

This one of the most unique novels I have read in a while. I love time travel and historical romance combinations. The author’s style is fantastical. I also felt, and I am not sure if this was the author’s goal, a touch of Gothic mystery and romance, as well as the fairytale and paranormal tones. The story is easy to get caught up in and is more of a sweet romance that deals with the spiritual aspects of finding your one true love. Scura finds that she is meant to have her happy ever after, even if it’s a bit unconventional.

The criticism I have is to do with the use of words that were a little beyond my grasp. It’s been a good long while since I was in school. Although I read voraciously, these words were quite unusual. Thankfully, I have an e-reader and can simply press a button to read the definition. This did slow down the flow of the story just a little bit, even though I learned a few new words. There was a reason the author chose this style of language, but personally, I struggled with it at times.

If you enjoy time travel historical romances, you will probably like this one. It is not your usual take on time travel and the author has a very vivid and wide-reaching imagination.

3 thoughts on “The House by Sebastiana Randone

  1. Hi Julie,

    I might add, for those who don’t know, that ‘scuro’ means dark in Italian. The heroine’s name may have intentionally been a feminine form of dark. Just a thought.

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